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Thomson family tightens control over family business through new promotion

The family behind Thomson Reuters, the financial news and information provider, looks to be tightening control of the business by appointing a Thomson group veteran as its chief executive.

The family behind Thomson Reuters, the financial news and information provider, looks to be tightening control of the business by appointing a Thomson group veteran as its chief executive.

Non-family Jim Smith, currently chief operating officer, will replace Tom Glocer as chief executive on 1 January, the group said in a statement.

The appointment is reportedly an attempt by the Thomson family, which owns 55% of Thomson Reuters through its holding company Woodbridge, to improve performance. Share price of the family-run business, which trades on the Toronto and New York stock exchanges, has fallen by nearly 30% this year.

Thomson Reuters, formed in 2008 by the merger of Canada’s Thomson Corporation with London-based Reuters, operates in two divisions – markets and professional.

By promoting Smith to the top role, the family looks to be choosing someone with a strong association with the original Thomson business. He joined Thomson Corporation in 1987 and served in various senior positions such as chief operation officer prior to its merger with Reuters, before becoming CEO of the newly-formed company’s professional division.

New York-based Thomson Reuters, which had 2010 fiscal revenues of $13.06 billion (€9.69 billion), is currently chaired by third-generation David Thomson, who was one of CampdenFB’s top 50 family business leaders in 2011. He is also the chairman of Woodbridge and Canadian media company the Globe and Mail.

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